Anyone who knows anything about hockey knows that chemistry
is just as important as individual talent. The best players in the world often struggle to find matching
combinations that bring out their best. Jaromir Jagr, one of the league’s greatest players, had an extremely
difficult time meshing with a center once Michael Nylander left the
This year’s club boasts a bevy of players that could be 20-goal scorers and 60-point
players. Vinny Prospal, Brandon
Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan, Artem Anisimov, Todd White, Alex Frolov, and Erik
Christensen all have the ability to reach those impressive totals. The question is, will they?
The Rangers had a tough time last year creating sustained
offense despite coach John Tortorella’s constant tinkering with line
combinations. Maybe he should have stuck
with certain trios longer, but he clearly felt that chemistry changed
week-to-week and game-to-game.
For the Rangers and any NHL team to be successful, most of
their offensive players must approach their ceiling of offensive
production. If everyone underachieves, it’s
basically impossible for a team to be competitive. Some of the Rangers offensive might comes in
the form of young talent, so it’s understandable that there are growing
pains. If they all come together, the Rangers
will have a productive offense. If they
toil in mediocrity again, the team will continue to lack the firepower to
support Henrik Lundqvist.
There’s no doubt that the Rangers have talent. Maybe not the elite-level players that Stanley
Cup contenders possess, but certainly enough to be a playoff team. The problem is that there are a number of
teams in the same boat. The difference
between who makes it and who doesn’t is in which teams get the most production
from their mid-level NHL players. We
know what we’re getting from Marian Gaborik. But it’s up to Prospal, Dubinsky, Callahan, Anisimov, White, Frolov, and
Christensen whether the Rangers sputter along offensively or have an exciting
What are your expectations from these players this season?